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Thailand looks past pandemic to build US$9b airport city (The Business Times)

Thailand is looking past the pandemic and pushing ahead with a 290 billion baht (S$13.1 billion) "airport city" aimed at creating a destination for travel and manufacturing, according to the head of the project.
Photo: Reuters/The Business Times

Thailand is looking past the pandemic and pushing ahead with a 290 billion baht (S$13.1 billion) "airport city" aimed at creating a destination for travel and manufacturing, according to the head of the project.

The plan is to expand U-Tapao International Airport in Rayong Province, where much of Thailand's automotive and petrochemical companies have plants and factories. In recent years, the airport brought in tourists from places such as China and Russia to the seaside city of Pattaya.

"It'll be the core of a new growth center and a hub for logistics and tourism," said Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary general of the Eastern Economic Corridor Office, which oversees the project spanning 1,040 hectares (2,570 acres). When completed, it will handle 60 million passengers and 3 million tons of cargo yearly, making U-Tapao one of the nation's three largest airports.

U-Tapao was originally developed in the mid-1960s to support the US military during the Vietnam War.

sAn initial phase of the redevelopment is due for completion by 2024, giving the aviation hub some "insulation" from the coronavirus-induced economic crisis and collapse of foreign tourism, Mr Kanit said in an interview. Thailand closed its borders to foreign travelers in late March.

To read the rest of the article, please use this link: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/transport/thailand-looks-past-pandemic-to-build-us9b-airport-city


By The Business Times | July 3rd, 2020

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